Ucatt could be without an elected leader until March next year after union officials asked for more time to hold fresh elections in the wake of a 2009 voting scandal.
General secretary Alan Ritchie was ousted from his post earlier this year after complaints about the number of ballot papers issued during the 2009 contest were made by losing rival Mick Dooley.
A new election should have to be held by the end of July after an order was issued by union watchdogs at the Certification Office but Ucatt officials have asked for more time after failing in an appeal against the ruling.
Mr Dooley said: “Ucatt now want the union to remain leaderless until next year.”
Acting general secretary George Guy said: “Ucatt is very disappointed with the outcome of the appeal and the length of time it has taken for the Employment Appeals Tribunal to arrive at its decision.
“Ucatt accepts the decision and have applied to the Certification Officer for a revised timetable to hold a new election for general secretary.”